Hammel receives 5 free cartons of potato chips

Cubs righty eating the snack for potassium to help avoid cramping in hand

Hammel receives 5 free cartons of potato chips

CHICAGO -- Who doesn't like potato chips? Who doesn't like receiving five free cartons of potato chips? Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel was delighted by the surprise care packages of several flavors of chips that arrived on Wednesday.

"I was not expecting this," said Hammel, who was given the go-ahead to eat the potato chips to counter some cramping he'd experienced in his right hand prior to the All-Star break.

Dr. Stephen Adams, the Cubs' team physician, came up with the suggestion, and although Hammel thought it was a crazy idea, it worked in his last outing. The pitcher then posted a photo on Twitter of him with two bags of chips, and he was surprised with the cartons, courtesy of Utz Snacks.

The Utz folks saw Hammel's tweet and responded: "We've got you covered! #getsnacking Congrats on the win @HammelTime39 and thanks for the love. Stay tuned. #hammeltime #utz"

"I've got enough sodium to last a lifetime," Hammel said as he opened a box. "We're set for the year."

Eating the chips made sense to Hammel. He drank plenty of water before the start when he had problems, and the doctor wants him to consume more potassium, salt and carbohydrates.

"Any excuse to eat chips, I'll go for it," said Hammel as he stood next to the 6-foot tall stack of boxes.

He certainly made his teammates happy.

"We get free chips, thanks to Hammel -- yes!" said catcher David Ross.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.